Friday 26th April 2019

Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena Installs Electric Vehicle Battery Energy Storage

Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena Installs Electric Vehicle Battery Energy Storage

Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena Installs Electric Vehicle Battery Energy Storage
General view of the Johan Cruijff Arena, also known as the Amsterdam Arena. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

The home of Dutch soccer powerhouse Ajax, the Johan Cruijff Arena, has now become a powerhouse in its own right. The venue is now the site of Europe’s largest commercial energy storage system based on electric vehicle batteries.

The arena hosts a three-megawatt storage system, the equivalent of 148 new or secondhand Nissan LEAF batteries. There are also 4,200 solar panels installed at the Johan Cruijff Arena, and much of the energy they collect can be stored as back-up power or supplementary power, making the stadium as sustainable as possible.

The World Economic Forum notes that together the batteries can now store enough energy to charge 500,000 iPhones or supply 7,000 households in Amsterdam for one hour. When the stadium’s energy needs are low, its power system can even add to the area grid. (Johan Cruijff Arena is also known as Amsterdam Arena and is the largest stadium in the Netherlands.)

(Courtesy of Nissan)

“Thanks to this energy storage system, the stadium will be able to use its own sustainable energy more intelligently and, as Amsterdam Energy Arena BV, it can trade in the batteries’ available storage capacity.” said Henk van Raan, director of innovation at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in a statement. “The Arena is assured of a considerable amount of power, even during an outage. As a result, the stadium will contribute to a stable Dutch energy grid. The Johan Cruijff Arena is one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world and leads the way in introducing smart innovations like this unique energy storage system.”

The energy storage project is the result of a partnership with several organizations, including the automobile manufacturer Nissan, energy company Eaton, and the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund. 

SportTechie Takeaway

Finding a new use for old electric car batteries is a well-documented problem, as is meeting the increasing energy consumption needed for high-tech sports and concert venues. This is an innovative solution to mitigate both concerns without straining the local power grid or necessitating diesel generators, but isn’t the first use of electric vehicle battery systems to power stadiums. In 2016, the LA Galaxy installed Tesla Powerpack batteries at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles.

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